Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: How many years have you been cycling?
less than 1 year
48
18.60%
1 to 2 years
40
15.50%
3 to 4 years
35
13.57%
5 to 9 years
31
12.02%
10 to 14 years
18
6.98%
15 to 19 years
12
4.65%
20 to 24 years
13
5.04%
25 to 29 years
16
6.20%
30 to 34 years
11
4.26%
35+ years
34
13.18%
Voters: 258. You may not vote on this poll

How many years ... ?

Old 08-02-11, 03:05 AM
  #1  
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How many years ... ?

How many years you've been cycling "seriously" (regularly, avidly, as a consistent and ongoing pursuit).

By "seriously", I don't mean from the time you first learned to ride a bicycle when you were a young child, but rather from the time you made the decision that cycling was going to be your sport, a sport you enjoy ... and you were going to put some time, effort, and possibly also money into it.

Tell us the story, if you've got one about what prompted that decision.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've been cycling "seriously" since April 29, 1990 ... approx. 21 years ago.


As for what prompted it ...

I had been cycling since about 1973, on and off, and I grew up around bicycles, so I was familiar with the sport, but between about 1985 and 1990, I hadn't ridden much at all ... just a few very short rides. In 1990, the college I had just graduated from was having a "bike-a-thon" thing to raise money for the college ... a long, several-week, tour ... and I decided to train for it. I didn't end up riding that tour, but I did re-develop a love for cycling!!

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Old 08-02-11, 03:29 AM
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I started cycling again aged 33 in 1989. I was very unfit and fat and realised that I desperately needed to do something about it. I watched the Tour de France on TV that summer and was so inspired by Greg Lemond's fantastic 8 second win over Laurent Fignon that I went out and bought myself a Specialized road bike. I have been riding ever since!
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Old 08-02-11, 03:29 AM
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Spring 1982.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:42 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by ColinJ View Post
I started cycling again aged 33 in 1989. I was very unfit and fat and realised that I desperately needed to do something about it. I watched the Tour de France on TV that summer and was so inspired by Greg Lemond's fantastic 8 second win over Laurent Fignon that I went out and bought myself a Specialized road bike. I have been riding ever since!
Great story
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Old 08-02-11, 03:59 AM
  #5  
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I am 36 and started cycling May 2011.
On a whim this past year I decided to participate in a 2-day 250km event to raise money to conquer cancer.
I since enjoy riding that I spent most of my time on this website and researching my next bike or cycling related item.
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Old 08-02-11, 05:44 AM
  #6  
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I cycled everywhere until I moved to the US in 1990.

This Spring I'd had enough of being stuck inside at the gym all the time, so I did some research and found out that my LBS had a Saturday morning B ride. I thought that would be a good way to get back into cycling, so I went to the LBS and got myself a CAAD 10-4 and off I went.

I did the B rides for a few weeks, but now I've moved on to the A rides and am keeping up with no problem. I have just over 800 miles on the bike now and I'm really enjoying it. I'm so glad I went out and bought a bike!
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Old 08-02-11, 05:58 AM
  #7  
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I used to smoke and was out of shape. I started cycling, quit smoking, and rode for a number of years with a new lifestyle. Then I took up running for 20 years with little cycling but the running was a lot and intense (2000+ miles annually with lots of races, marathons, speed work, etc.). After some time with tri's, I'm back to mostly cycling. So that puts me in the 25-29 year category.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:08 AM
  #8  
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Ooops, I voted 35+ before reading the question.

Actually only since 1986, so 25.

I did get a couple of 10+ mile rides in before that though.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:16 AM
  #9  
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I voted int he 5-9 range...I got back on a bike in 2002 or 2003 after a long time off the bike and a lot of pounds gained. I am 50 lbs lighter now than I was then (wow really?) but I'm still overweight at 215 lbs. I'm sure I'm much healthier though.

In my youth I rode a lot and raced MTBs locally...was never good but had fun doing it. Stopped riding in like 1993 or 1994 I think, so was off the bike for nearly 10 years.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:25 AM
  #10  
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Back when I was a kid, my parents would take my brother and me on cycling vacations through the Netherlands (and the UK, once). And of course my bike got me everywhere until I was allowed to drive (near my 19th birthday). Didn't cycle as a sport, though. I discovered about 15 years ago that I enjoyed running and was pretty good at it (a good revelation, as I've pretty much always stank at sports involving balls and/or fine motor skills). Unfortunately, 10 years later, at the peak of my running fitness, a hamstring tendonitis that just wouldn't go away prevented me from seriously running. I spent a few more years just doing short easy runs (not so exciting), then decided last September I'd had enough of that, and started considering bicycling as a sport. I'd been commuting a short distance to work on a heavy Trek hybrid for years, so I started taking that out on the lunch rides that my cycling colleagues do every day from work. While I surprised some with my ability to get "the tank" up hills, I clearly couldn't hang when things got fast on the flats, so early October I got myself a "real bike". Found out that my background as a runner (or maybe just my physique, who knows) got me off to a quick start cycling (interrupted by 6 weeks of recuperation from an early crash that banged up my shoulder). Since then, I've been working on getting my bike handling and group riding skills up to par. Hoping to ride my first race this week :-)
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Old 08-02-11, 07:55 AM
  #11  
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Less than one year. I'm 32.

I've always ridden a bike but before this year the longest ride I'd ever done was 35 mi, and I'd only ever owned MTBs and more recently, a hybrid. I owned one pair of bike shorts (MTB ones with a padded liner), and one MTB shirt. The most I'd ride regularly was maybe 30-50mi/week, all as a commute.

I ride >100mi/week now, and have a lot more jerseys and shorts. I'd say I'm still getting into things as a "roadie".

I used to enjoy middle distance running for fitness but my knees are dead now so cycling is my #1.
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Old 08-02-11, 07:56 AM
  #12  
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I've ridden bikes off and on in a semi serious manner since high school... though my current road bike probably has more mileage than all previous bikes combined... and I've only had it since June...
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Old 08-02-11, 08:06 AM
  #13  
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When I was layed off in 2000, the only activity I could afford was cycling on my old Diamondback Sorrento MTB. I rode practically every day, 15 - 25 miles, mosty on pavement. When I got a job, I upgraded to a Schwinn Moab 1, then when that was stolen in 2006, I built up my Interloc.
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Old 08-02-11, 08:24 AM
  #14  
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Around 35yo I realised I was 280lb and smoked a pack a day. I work in a hospital and saw men my age and habbits having the first heart attacks! I made a decision to change my life style. Now I had played sports in high school, ridden a bike a lot as a teen and even ran. Then came driving, school, a family and job that seemed take up so much time. (I would think many fall into this trap?) I kicked the cigs, started dumping the weight and then started some real exersize and decided to get back into cycling. I was amazed at how much the bicycle had evolved! I bought a hybred, but soon saw I needed a road bike. I have just retired that first Al road bike with 24,000 miles on the frame after about 11 years. This is in addition to a touring bike and commuting, so I would say that cycling has become a regular part of my life for around 13 years now and I am looking forward to ridding untill I can't!
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Old 08-02-11, 09:47 AM
  #15  
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Started in October 2010. I had a torn meniscus in my right knee that was extremely painful. 18 years in the Marine Corps and all that running did a number on my knee. Had to find some other source of cardio exercise. I live in San Diego and road bikes are everywhere. Heard a Performance Bike ad on the radio and decided to drop by for a look. Jumped on an entry level Fuji for a parking-lot test ride and that was the end of it. I had to have one. I had the knee surgery in December 2010, and two weeks later I was back on the bike. The doctors were amazed at my quick recovery and say that cycling was the reason. I currently have about 2500 miles under my belt in my first 10 months. I have upgraded the bike to a Defy 1 and now actually look forward to cardio workouts.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:41 AM
  #16  
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I started cycling in 1992 at age 12 when my father had gotten into it for fitness and asked me if I wanted to ride with him. He bought me a used Fuji Ace and by the end of the year, we were doing the Solvang Prelude (half century) while Mom and little bro did the 26 mile route. My brother and I got into racing and went as far as junior nationals before we realized we just didn't have the genes to make the Olympics or go pro. I stopped riding by my senior year of high school as I focused on getting a degree and starting a career. Once I had my career under way and had a little bit of free time once again, and noticed I was out of shape and gaining weight, I started riding again. I hope I never stop again.

edit: Although I started riding 19 years ago, I count 13 since I took 6 years off to go to college.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:57 AM
  #17  
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I always biked for exercise since my father got me a road bike at 14, but didn't really start training for it until after college. I was a rower and really missed exercising for a goal and so started doing triathlons in '99. Did some bike racing, crashed, got surgeries for things. Can't do tris anymore due to bionic shoulder and bad knees (plus I hate running) and only race a little now, but I recently got into cyclocross and my training regimen looks very much like it did back in 2005.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:03 AM
  #18  
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I became involved with bikes while attending college in the late sixties, when a friend took me to a velodrome. After riding on it I was hooked. I have since raced, raised a state gold medalist (road and track),wrenched, owned my own shop, and still officiate.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:12 AM
  #19  
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I feel like I always knew cycling was my thing. I first started doing regular long rides when i was 15/16 (8 years ago) on a hybrid I had, because i didn't want to rely on my parents to get out of the house. It died down somewhat over the next few years and when i went to college in a city i pretty much stopped, as i had zero room for a bike. The instant I had an apartment, I brought in my dad's mountain bike (he was using the hybrid) but barely road it because it was too expensive of a bike to leave around and not a bike I wanted to train on, i yearned for a road bike. This march when, having an income, i finally picked up a 80s road bike. I then developed "the hunger" and bought a real road bike about a month ago. I've been doing regular training/travel on the two bikes since.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:15 AM
  #20  
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After college I moved to DC (Mid to late 80's). I had always been active in team sports, but didn't know anyone in DC yet, so I bought a HEAVY Diamondback MTB and rode it about 10 miles every other week. Every Friday evening, all the young department managers from my company used to meet for a few drinks and talk. One night, after a few too many, they asked if I wanted to join them in a couple of months for the 150 mile 'Bike to the Bay'. I said SURE! The next morning, I woke up and had one of those "I agreed to what???" moments, but decided to go through with it anyway. I knew enough to go buy a entry-level Cannondale (R300??) and start riding more. I think I got up to a 50 mile ride before the event. It was poring down rain with 30 - 40 MPH wind gusts, and I LOVED it. I was hooked after that.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:16 AM
  #21  
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Grew up riding a bike and commuted a bit in college, but nothing serious. I occasionally daydreamed about how cool it would be to race bikes when I'd see an acquaintance's pictures on facebook, but never really knew how to get started and assumed it was too late, since I had already graduated college (how wrong I was!). This past February, got an email at work announcing that my office was assembling a group to participate in a Team in Training century. It seemed like a lot of hand-holding would be provided, so I got all the gear and started riding. It was addictive. From the first time I took my new road bike out for a spin, it felt totally natural. I kept riding consistently, and joined up with a racing team in May. Having more fun than ever!
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Old 08-02-11, 01:20 PM
  #22  
pdxtex
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i got my first road bike at 12 and bought my most recent road bike at 37. in between has been a myriad of bmx bikes, mountain bikes, frankenbikes and other assorted projects. ive jumped stuff, raced stuff, wiped out on everything ive owned, pimped stuff out, stripped whole bikes, built cruisers and go fast fun bikes. i can name every single bike ive ever owned and would like to continue this little obsession for a long long time.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:31 PM
  #23  
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Since 1983 with about 7-8 years off along the way. Got regular again in 2007.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:37 PM
  #24  
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I started june 2010 with a hybrid , then a road hybrid bike and just in April 2011 I got a road bike. I am enjoying logging the miles.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:58 PM
  #25  
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is this deja vu all over again?
anyway
parents bought me a Royce Union 10 spd back in '63 - was 52/49 and I don;t remember the freewheel...
I upgraded to a CCM 531 when I started using cycling as off-season training for ski racing. still pretty much a 'gaspipe' machine so I bought a used Peugeot PX10 in '70 after a serious ski race accident in '69. Raced bikes from '71 thru '98.
Was lured to the 'dark side' (motorcycling) in fall of '98.
that and total burnout on bike racing meant no cycling until Aug '04 - as in less than 100 miles total for those yrs
got fat, less healthy and more grumpy (than usual...)
became sick of myself in summer '04
decided cycling was missing and came back with a full head of steam.
lost weight over the winter, trained to get back to racing shape.
learned a lot about all the neat new stuff
backed out of racing after my heart attack in late '08 (random clot lodged in the RCA)
no racing since '08 - but I'm considering again for 2012.
along the way cycling has been a magic carpet ride, it's all been good and cycling has, is and continues to be the icing on life's cake.
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